It is a time
when robots and humans co-exist. The people of Metropolis are divided
in two. The highly advanced technologically Above ground civilization,
and the deprived and poor underworld dwellers. The powerful Ziggurat
has been completed, and the surface people of Metropolis are celebrating.
Duke Red is a
power monger who rules Metropolis secretly, with ambitions to also
rule the world. Using a wanted scientist by the name of Dr. Laughton,
the duke wants to create the ultimate robot to watch over his powerful
creation Ziggurat, the tallest and most powerful skyscraper known
Kenichi and his
uncle are on a case to find the criminal scientist, and have followed
his trail to Metropolis. When they find out he is working for the
duke, they get much more than they expect. Kenichi is separated from
his uncle in a deadly fire. Stumbling away, he meets Tima, who is
herself unaware that she is a robot duplicate of Duke Red's deceased
daughter. Both are being chased by the duke's jealous right hand man
Rock, and the just awakened Tima gets a crash course in survival and
life from her newfound protector and friend Kenichi.
Can Tima fall
in love? If she is a robot, why does she think she has feelings? What
will become of the Ziggurat? Will the perfect city be destroyed? The
fate of Metropolis lies in Tima's hands, and the deteriorating over-developed
city is on the verge of a revolution and destruction from the underworld.
The God of Anime,
Osamu Tezuka, created three early works before his rise into mega-fame
with such anime as (Astroboy). Famed director Rintaro (Galaxy
Express 999) and legendary writer Katsuhiro Otomo (Akira)
collaborate to make Metropolis's jump onto the big screen.
If you know anything about the late Tezuka, you will be amazed at
how scary his visions have slowly become reality. But does Metropolis
live up to expectations?
From a technical
standpoint, the movie lives up to its hype. The scenery and backdrops
are well-developed and amazingly drawn. You will want to stop in awe
at the beautiful art. The character animation and style stick very
closely with Tezuka's style of old; the wide eyes, the Popeye style
arms, and disproportional sizes of limbs all give the movie its special
The story was
written originally about 50 years ago, but has now been re-written
by Otomo, introducing new characters to make it more filmic. Some
hard-core fans of the original work may not like this idea much at
all, but it works well.
Though the movie
catches attention right off the bat, its energy starts to lag about
sixty minutes in. Subplots get boring, and the admittedly beautiful
artwork just gets repetitive; I wanted to see more story, not anything
music was a refreshing change with its jazz influence, appropriate
for the time of the original manga's creation. It will stick in your
head, though much of it sounds Disney-ish and in some scenes jarring.
The final product
feels like a fusion of European and Japanese influences, still retaining
the heart of Tezuka's style. This is definitely a must have for his
fans, an amazing testament to one man's vision of what the future
would hold. Without a doubt, Tezuka was a genius, but would he approve
of this theatrical release of his story? At the very least, the special
features hold a lot of insight to this film, and to the master's work.
Whether you are
a casual Anime fan or a neophyte, you may indeed fall in love with
Metropolis. It breaks ground for a new style of anime, combining
2D and 3D animation. Somewhat ironic for this milestone story from
fifty years ago to set a new milestone.
Metropolis from Amazon